Lessons from travelling around the world on a cycle – News

For starters, shed the baggage

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

By Namal Siddiqui

What weighs me down, also gives me freedom” — Kamran Ali.

At the first instance, this sentence may not make sense, but there is time-served wisdom in it, and those who spend time pondering over life’s unending contradictory condition are able to experience its provisions. The beauty of this pondering is that it can be implemented in any situation.

In the mind of a mother of two, a city-dweller accustomed to the city’s nugatory urgencies and mundanities, a 9-5 working woman wanting to live another life or a small-town young man travelling on a plane and looking out its windows at snow-peaked mountains. Just like Kamran Ali did, peering over the jagged silhouettes of Turkish mountains, he vowed to himself that he’d traverse this place doing what he enjoyed well… cycling.

I first met Kamran Ali in Pakistan. I suppose I had started following him on Instagram some time ago, but little did I know that when I had to meet a mountaineer to discuss a potential expedition together, Kamran Ali would be accompanying him.



We decided to meet at an Afghani restaurant somewhere in Islamabad’s sector G6, a place the Careem captain took ages to get to, after multiple telephonic exchanges where several lefts and rights between the concrete and verdant vegetation of Islamabad lead me to that rather delightful Kabuli pulao.

I recognised Kamran but kept calm. In Pakistan, I was soon beginning to understand that the size of one’s social media account or a blue tick on it did not mean that people were inaccessible. I speak for the ones closer to wilderness and mountains, ironically. In many ways, this was different from the

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Top 10 Productivity Hacks “Experts” Get Wrong

Productivity is the holy grail of achievement. Social media abounds with so-called productivity experts waxing poetic about everything you must do to maximize productivity. 

Most don’t tell you they’re making money by selling their “one true way.” Many of the productivity experts on social media aren’t experts at all. They find a method that works for them and try to sell everyone on it, even if it’s not a one-size-fits-all hack. 

Here’s the truth about some of the top hacks self-proclaimed productivity experts insist work. 

Wake Up at 5 Am

Waking up at 5 Am is a productivity boon – for morning people.  The truth is only some people do their best work early in the morning. 

Some of us are night owls who work best after midnight, while others get fantastic bursts of creativity mid-afternoon. 

Instead of listening to productivity experts, listen to yourself. Discover when your body is most energized, most creative, and needs rest. Develop your morning routine based on that, not on what others tell you that you should be doing. 

Take a Cold Shower

Studies have shown links between cold showers and wellness. Proponents of cold showering say it improves focus and determination, which can help productivity. 

However, opting for a warm shower is not the one thing holding you back in life. It’s okay to enjoy simple pleasures, like hot running water, and there are other methods of improving focus. 

Cold showers help some, but they aren’t required for a productive life. 

Read Next: 19 Ways to Improve Your Life Starting Today (Hint: Cold Showers Didn’t Make the List!)

Constant Hustle

Productivity experts seem to think everyone should be working 15 hours daily, and if you aren’t,  you’re doing it wrong. 

Life is for living. We want to be productive to relax, and enjoy

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Travel ‘Works to Shake Things Up,’ Says the Novelist Emily Henry

Over the last three years, the novelist Emily Henry has established a solid beachhead on summertime best seller lists with a series of travel-related rom-coms, starting with“Beach Read” in 2020, and followed by last summer’s “People We Meet on Vacation” and this year’s “Book Lovers.” All three novels currently share space on The Times’s combined Print and E-book fiction list.

In her books, a youngish woman — a writer or writer-adjacent — at a crisis point in her life, lights out for new territory where (not to give any spoilers), she finds her true calling — and her true love.

In “Beach Read,” dueling novelists occupy neighboring houses on a lake in Michigan, sparring until, of course, they stop. In “People We Meet on Vacation,” the travel writer Poppy Wright spends part of each summer taking a trip with her best friend from college, Alex Nilsen, who, dear reader, you know from the get-go is Mr. Right, even as the two of them hide from the inevitable. In “Book Lovers,” it is the hard-driving literary agent Nora Stephens who travels to the small North Carolina town of Sunshine Falls, only to encounter her nemesis from the Manhattan book scene, the editor Charlie Lastra.

Another theme in her books is the pull of family. Ms. Henry, 31, grew up in Cincinnati with two older brothers, and she, her husband and their dog live there now, near her parents. She fondly remembers their family trips, even if they did sometimes end up fighting “like a too-many-headed beast,” she said.

“We all still try to semi-regularly take trips together, which obviously can be complete chaos, but I just have so much nostalgia for that,” said Ms. Henry, who is at work on next summer’s novel. “I can’t talk about that yet,” she said

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